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First Responder Program

Like veterans, first responders put their lives on the line to protect our communities. They deserve support, yet there is a lack of resources dedicated to them. 

In 2022, Upstate Warrior Solution expanded our services to bridge the resource gap for first responders. Because of our work with veterans, military members, and their families, we understand the sacrifice first responders make. It is a natural fit to offer our supportive services to first responders as well.

Our First Responder Program seeks to connect Upstate EMS, fire fighters, and law enforcement to critical resources for mental and behavioral health, professional development and career transition, injury and disablement, stress (critical or otherwise) management, and burnout. 

#StayWithMe – Mental Health support & Suicide Prevention

Our law enforcement, fire, and EMS personnel run toward the chaos every day to keep our communities safe. On the worst days of our lives, they’re at our side saying, “Stay with me”.

Whether it’s due to the impact of a critical incident or years of vicarious trauma, the reality is that first responders are likely to experience mental health struggles at some point in their career. Too many are lost to suicide each year. The data regarding the impact of constant exposure to trauma and stressful situations on our first responders is staggering:

  • 75% of police officers have experienced a traumatic event.
  • SAMHSA (2018) reports law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS personnel experience suicide, depression, substance use, and PTSD at high rates.
  • 37% of fire and EMS personnel thought about suicide.
  • ~7% of EMS personnel reported having depression.
  • 50% of male firefighters reported heavy or binge drinking in the past month.
  • Studies show that PTSD increased as social support decreased for police officers.

When our first responders’ days are dark, we believe it’s our honor and duty as a community to say to them, STAY WITH US

Upstate Warrior Solution’s First Responder Program provides peer support training and mental health resources to those who serve us and their spouses.

First Responder survivor Benefits

Did you know that in South Carolina, the families of first responders who are killed in the line of duty can lose health insurance benefits within 30 days (or less) of their loved one’s death?

As a patriotic state, we value the dedication of our first responders but can do more to support our first responders’ families when they pay the ultimate price. A line of duty death is a tragedy beyond words. When they sacrifice their lives to protect others, we honor and value them. But what about their families? The least we can do for them after their loved one is killed in the line of duty is make sure they’re provided for.

News & Updates

February 13th, 2024 – South Carolina House Bill 5080 was introduced to extend health insurance benefits to survivor families of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Call your house representative today and tell them you support House Bill 5080!

January 2nd, 2024 – WYFF4 – Notable laws across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia: On January 2nd, Representative Bobby Cox stated his focus for the 2024 legislative session is improving resources for families of law enforcement:

“Providing some type of measure and relief for families when a law enforcement passes away, we take care their family. We just don’t let them go off on their own,” Cox said, “I’m very hopeful about 2024. As long as we have breath in our lungs there is work to do. I am very optimistic about what the legislature can do this year.”

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